Monday, August 11, 2014
This Week's Work in Progress
If you follow us on Facebook, you'll know that we shipped out our last custom order of bridesmaid gift zipper pouches along with our Nicaragua Green tote and the Indonesia No. 42 tote bag today. I'm turning my attention to a new bag design this week, and I have a few photos to share of the work in progress.
One of the best parts of handmade items is seeing the 'behind the scenes'; it's what makes each piece so special. I talked a bit about this topic in the past with the Brazil tote bag here. Unlike manufactured goods, many of which are defined by the marketing and brands they support, handmade items have a story and often a slower, more thoughtful process for their design. I start all of our designs with a few sketches in a small notebook. It's not a fancy notebook and neither are my drawings. They are mostly to get visuals of what's in my head for the next bag, document dimensions, identify the number and cuts of fabric, and write out process-related steps if the design is something new and more complex than I've done in the past. In fact, even if the item is something that I regularly make, like our zipper pouches, I will also write out process steps for future reference - which I did after this last bulk batch of pouches was completed.
I wish I had a fun, organized sewing studio or room to show you as part of the work in progress photos, but I don't and that's okay. I am lucky to use a spare bedroom that's a hodge-podge of new and old furniture, an ironing board, and my sewing supplies on the floor. I'm a firm believer in making due with what you have available to you. It's more fun, and in the end, I think it strengthens my creative muscles when I have to learn to be resourceful with the materials, space, and time I have available. The final product is carefully designed and there's attention to every detail, because it's small batch in a spare bedroom and not mass-manufactured in a factory line and knowing that is what matters when someone chooses to buy a handmade product.
So, here's a start of the story behind the next Grounds bag and hope to share more as the work continues on.
Hope your week is off to a good start! Remember to keep following us on Facebook where we share photos and updates.
Thanks for stopping by!